A Missing Link to Sustainable Mobility

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A Missing Link to Sustainable Mobility

Max Gruenig and Dominic Marcellino

Best Practice Examples from Europe and the U.S.

An analysis prepared by the Ecologic Institute

The world currently faces three global challenges that relate to the way we travel and commute: global warming, peak oil1 and energy security. In order to overcome these challenges, municipalities will need to rethink current public transportation systems. This paper assumes that integrated transportation planning (involving public transportation, bicycles, walking and cars) will be key to enabling mobility while addressing greenhouse gas emissions, fuel consumption and energy usage. Working from that assumption and building on a previous study of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Green Solutions to the Auto Crisis2 ), this paper highlights examples of successful car and bike sharing programs in the US and Europe and explores how both can be integrated into sustainable transportation systems to relieve some of the environmental and structural pressures cities face. The end goal of such an integrated transportation system would be to provide exactly what private car ownership does: freedom of movement, flexibility, and convenience. This paper concludes that station-based and flexible car and bike sharing programs can contribute to sustainable transportation and that context should determine which programs are implemented. Such sharing programs can quickly and efficiently offer additional sustainable transportation choices, thus making the decision not to own a personal car more attractive and clearing the way for an integrated sustainable urban transport system.

Click here to download the policy paper (27 pages, pdf, 390KB)